October 17, 2006 - Festa Al Lago, Niagra Falls, and BetFair
I began playing yesterday in the Festa Al Lago $10,000 main event at Bellagio in Las Vegas, and it was a tough day! I wasn't catching any cards for the first 6 or 7 hours – just running bad and being blinded away.
I guess I was catching some cards because I got pocket Q's 6 times, but most of the times, a K would come on the flop, people would bet out, and I was making some tough but good laydowns. One time, I did catch the Q's and felt good about them, raised, and I knew that my opponent didn't have anything, so I won that pot. Whew! ? It was a tough table with lots of good players, including JC Tran, David Pham, and Kathy Liebert. During the last round, I was down to $16,000 in chips and knew that I had to make a move.
The blinds were $300-$600 with a $75 ante, and I picked up Q-J of clubs. The UTG player raised to $2500, everyone else mucked, and I called. The flop came 4-4-J, giving me top pair, and I checked.
He bet $4000, but I just had a feeling that he didn't have a big pocket pair, so I raised all in. He called quickly, which made me nervous, but then he turned over A-K. Nothing came to improve his hand on the turn or river, and I raked a nice pot.
I finished the day with $35,000, and I'm hoping to catch some good cards today and be able to climb the leader board. May the cards be with me! LOL. Three of my Martins Poker teammates are still in, too – John, Patrik, Matt, and Claus – so I hope we can all stay in there!
After this tournament, my schedule gets crazy! John and I decided to head to Canada for the Niagra Falls tournament, so we will arrive there on October 25 and stay through November 1. Then it's back to L.A. for a few days to regroup, run errands, and prepare for a trip that is going to be awesome – Singapore! It's the BetFair Asian Poker Tour, and John and I are SO excited to go! This is our first major tournament in Asia, and it's so close to our home country of Vietnam… It's going to be great! We will be there from November 12 – 17, and I hope that other players will join us there. Finally, there is big-time poker in Asia!!! It's about time – it's in our blood, ya know! Poker players will be coming from all over Asia to participate in this one. Here is the Press Release for Betfair's Tournament event...
Poker superstars return to Asia
John Phan and Liz Lieu will go to Singapore to take part in the Betfair Asian Poker Tour this November.
They are good friends and two of the hottest names in poker. Originating from Vietnam , they have built their poker careers in America .
John “The Razor” Phan has close to $3m in tournament winnings. With numerous results on the World Poker Tour (WPT) and at the World Series of Poker (WSOP), he was inches from being poker player of the year in 2005.
Liz “The Poker Diva” Lieu is a regular winner at high stakes cash game tables in Las Vegas. For a year she has been playing on the WPT, European Poker Tour (EPT) and other circuits around the world.
Both very much engaged in charity work, they will give 20 percent of future tournament winnings to charity. If either player wins the Betfair Asian Poker Tour, this could mean up to $100,000 for charity.
The Betfair Asian Poker Tour is the first major tournament in Asia and both players are pleased to be enjoying their passion “closer to home”.
“We are both really looking forward to the Betfair Asian Poker Tour in Singapore to represent our team, Martinspoker.com. It will be really interesting to follow poker's growing popularity in Asia from close range. Asians are always good with games and that is one of the reasons why so many players of Asian origin have been so successful in the world of poker, especially in America . We would also like to find new poker players that would like to become members of our team by showing their skills on our site or in live tournaments like the one in Singapore ,” says Liz and John.
Since we'll be close to home, we will then take the short 2-hour flight to Vietnam to visit our families. My dad is there, and it's been awhile since I've been home to see him. Most of our time, though, will be spent doing charity work. Only a few weeks or so ago, a huge hurricane hit Vietnam and left tons of people homeless and without their farms. We're going to distribute food to various cities and visit some orphanages to help there any way we can. It's going to hurt me to see so many of my people in poverty and hurting, but it will feel good to help out.
My calendar is full! Right now, though, I'm only focused on doing well in today's tournament at Bellagio and building up those chips. Send good vibes to me today, friends! Bye for now